Early Childhood Education Inventory: A Foundation for Critical Next Steps

September 9, 2019

Dear Chairwoman Macker, Mayor Muldoon, County Commissioners and Town Councilors,

Early childhood education has a tremendous impact on the well-being of a community and its residents.

There is certainly no shortage of studies to show that investments made early on pay off in significant dividends throughout one’s life. Whether prenatal, postnatal, or early childhood education – every dollar invested has shown returns of anywhere from $4 – $12 for each $1 spent.

These same studies often show not only the financial benefits to a community but much more importantly, the benefits to the individual child and family unit. These benefits can be life-changing.

Especially in Teton County, access to affordable, reliable early childhood education can be the difference in improving a family’s socioeconomic status. Enrolling in childcare can open the door to parents being able to take career goals further, expanding their skills, knowledge and income.

Studies have shown that mothers of children who were enrolled in childcare, on average, could expect $133,000 in additional earnings over their lifetime.

For the child, a secure place to learn and explore can offer a child a wide variety of learning and social opportunities that will magnify throughout their lives.

On par with housing, childcare is an essential need in our community. Some families are faced with difficult decisions every day in Teton County of whether a parent can return to work or afford childcare.

An inventory of all childcare providers, waitlist numbers, etc. will serve to educate our community as well as provide a baseline of what we need and how to achieve goals of affordable, reliable childcare.

We support moving forward with this inventory and know this vital information will provide the foundation for the next steps on this critical issue.

Thank you for your leadership on this issue for Teton County families, children and our community.

Sincerely,

Jackson Hole Working

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